Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

The United Nations has warned that decades of progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS are under threat as the world shifts attention to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Winnie Byanyima, the head of UNAIDS gave the warning during the joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), dedicated to eradicating the disease by 2030, and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

They noted that disruptions to treatment could result in hundreds of thousands of HIV-related deaths.

Winnie said there was a risk that the “hard-earned gains of the AIDS response will be sacrificed to the fight against COVID-19”.

He also pointed out that the right to health meant that no one disease should be fought at the expense of another.

“The COVID-19 pandemic must not be an excuse to divert investment from HIV,” the UNAIDS chief said.

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